What was/is your worst project you were on?

DZA_DZA_ Untitled.Member Posts: 412 ■■■■■□□□□□
Hey Guys,


[Rant]


I've been working on two intertwined projects over the last 8 months at my organization and having a handful of challenges: company politics, LoB driving aggressive timelines instead of ITS creating timelines, over budget, lack of leadership and project management skills, no realistic expectations. In essence, it is the total opposite of how a project should be delivered.


At this point in time, it had me thinking of the following:


Will this project be cancelled or be put on hiatus?
- It can't because its a upgrade project for an entire system that the organization completely relies on and the existing system is out of extended support since this summer.
- LoBs are anxious awaiting to try to start migrating their workloads into this new environment
- One of the intertwined projects is going to save the company a projected estimate of 5 billion dollars over the course of 3-5 years so they can't afford to scrap it

Will I get fired?
- Possibly, but I doubt it, the project initiative got kicked off years before I got employed
- I offer way more value if they kept me but the project outlook looks slim
- I've been the one driving this project forward even though I'm not a project manager - GSD Attitude

Should I switch jobs during the middle of this terrible project?
- Possibly, the ITS department is going through a change in management
- Half my team left when I first started this position at this organization
- I can't move to a different technology unit because it's at the discretion at my non-existent manager

It sounds like I'm crazy but definitely this is the 2nd project that I have been assigned to set up for failure or with too many expectations. This post comes off more of a rant than anything else but would like to hear from the folks on TE on their history of their worst projects and how they dealt with it.

[/rant]


Cheers,
D

Comments

  • Azt7Azt7 ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    And this is exactly why I moved away from business based deliveries. Deadlines are given by completely clueless executives with no idea of contraints / what's at stake for the teams involved.

    My worst project was a project that had to be delivered in less than 5 months but constraints were everywhere : location, resources, finance, time... I approached my manager to advise that this will be very tough to meet the deadlines and I had 2 month left on my contract. I simply recommended that the delivery teams get more involved in the initial planning. Needless to say, my contract wasn't renewed icon_lol.gif

    Given your circumstances, I don't believe the project will be cancelled. The expectations are way too high and now LOB Executives are looking to save the magical 5 Billions over that time span. So they might accept a delay at worst.

    If I was in your shoes, I would get out of there because This will always be attached to you by the people above since you are in ''charge''.

    And I wouldn't wait for a new manager to come in, do his own assessment and establish what needs to change.
    Certifications : ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect, CCSK, TOGAF
    Studying for :   ISO 27032 Lead Cybersecurity Manager - 08/20
    2021 :  CRISC
    2022 : CGEIT / C-CISO
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,495 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think you'll get fired, but you might quit or find a new job.... (There is a caveat to this, if you are a contractor you may not get renewed, like Azt7 mentioned but if you are FTE you couldn't be so lucky). Most people find new positions and move on from what I see. In fact I am working on a project initiated in 2015 and the stakeholders, analyst, management, programmers have all changed. I mean after all isn't that what they did? :)

    Recently we had a developer leave for another company local in the area..... He clearly had enough. I believe this was more of an operational role and not quite a business centric (bringing this up because of what Azt7 mentioned in his thread)

    I actually had to take the requirements documents and send them back to the stakeholders to review..... Of course very few things came off and way more was added.

    Cap Dev isn't all what it's cracked up to be, unless you hit a perfect storm.....

    @Azt7 You mentioned you moved away from business based delivery. Just curious what did you move onto, very curious to hear? Thanks! You provide a sliver of hope!
  • Azt7Azt7 ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess I worded that wrong. I meant more LOB driven deliveries in terms of executives signing up on ridiculous milestones.

    Now I switched more to cloud (O365/Azure/AWS) and security (Endpoint Protection, Anti-Spam, DR/BC, DLP...) pre-sales. That's mostly customer driven in terms of deadlines. Of course you still have wild expectations in term of revenue but hey you got to pick your poison :D

    I look at it as I'm working on the customer schedule instead of on the clueless executive hunch if it makes any sense.
    Certifications : ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect, CCSK, TOGAF
    Studying for :   ISO 27032 Lead Cybersecurity Manager - 08/20
    2021 :  CRISC
    2022 : CGEIT / C-CISO
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,495 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Azt7 wrote: »
    I guess I worded that wrong. I meant more LOB driven deliveries in terms of executives signing up on ridiculous milestones.

    Now I switched more to cloud (O365/Azure/AWS) and security (Endpoint Protection, Anti-Spam, DR/BC, DLP...) pre-sales. That's mostly customer driven in terms of deadlines. Of course you still have wild expectations in term of revenue but hey you got to pick your poison :D

    I look at it as I'm working on the customer schedule instead of on the clueless executive hunch if it makes any sense.

    Perfect sense.... Thanks for clarifying. I would rather deal with the customer who generally knows what they want in lieu of the alternative. You are cutting out the middle man I would assume.
  • chrisonechrisone CISSP, CRTP, eCPPT, LFCS, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Retired Cisco NPs Member Posts: 1,932 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Wasn't a project or my project, but years ago when I was a network engineer, working on a ASA firewall issue, the director comes by my desk and asks for me to start collecting IPs/Brands on printers (Like physically going to each printer labeling them, identifying them, documenting them)..... lol Seriously that happened, I was like uhhhh ok man. For whatever reason he needed help on that. For 1. why would an IT Director be focused on collecting printer IPs, one would assume he had more important things to do. 2, why did you not get a helpdesk or systems support guy? I think I was in the middle of a serious ASA issue too lol

    Mind boggling some people I tell you. But yeah I left that place long ago icon_lol.gif
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (3 month pass)
    Certs: OSCP (in-progress), AZ-500 (in-progress), MS-500, Pentester Academy - PACES, Pentester Academy - CRTE
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @OP - with you gsd tendencies, this sounds like a great opportunity. Over my career, I've always enjoyed coming into a project that was fubar and trying to figure out how to solve it. It's one of things that I like about consulting - I get to solve interesting problems. Although getting paid well doesn't hurt.

    This could be a way for you to really demonstrate your value to the business and get some recognition if you can do a good job. If there is a project leadership vacuum and you are up to the task -- step into it.

    Couple of things you can do - meet with the project or program manager to get a gauge and figure out how you can add value to get the project on track. If appropriate, speak with the project sponsor to provider a project update, risks to the projects, things that are needed, etc. I'm sure that there are regular updates to the project sponsor - ask to be part of the next presentation. Or whatever is appropriate in your organization.

    As for your question about what's been the worst project - I suppose that's all relative and depends on everyone's disposition. I tend not to view project or organizational dysfunctionality as bad but an opportunity for improvement within whatever constraints are present.

    For me - it's more the emotional aspects of a project vs the mental or physical aspects of a project that disheartens me. I think being on a team with 2 months to identify redundancies for an 8% RIF was probably the most draining project that I've ever been on.
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Member Posts: 412 ■■■■■□□□□□
    @Azt7 - From what I've heard, LoB based deliveries pretty much the focal point around here and there has been a lot of projects that got burned because of this. I believe you can't really escape it when you work in corporate. I agree too that they can't let this project get cancelled, there is too much at stake on how much it can save the enterprise. It's a matter of trying to meet the timelines as much as possible, not delay it, and save face where possible unfortunately.


    Entertaining my initial thought of leaving the company was this:
    - The overall team was pretty solid, fun and close (This is genuine among my coworkers/peers), I haven't experienced someone backstabbing me per se but wouldn't be surprised if I got back stabbed.
    - The work culture is laid back for corporate among the different Canadian companies out there
    - The company has a defined benefits plan vs defined contribution. This is a rarity among Canadian companies,
    - The commute is pretty good, its about an hour door-to-door with minimal effort, little bit of walking and riding the train.


    @Chrisone - Depending on the roles and responsibilities of that individual, anyone who is titled a "Director" I consider a joke. It's more of an ego booster more than anything else. Unless it's a code name for System Administrator. ;)


    @Paul78 - I've came off a meeting today and my manager said that my hard work and persistence is being noticed by higher management based on the recent issues we were having, which is a good thing. I totally agree with you about turning the project around but hopefully I don't burn out in the process. There may be a very good bonus payout by the end of the year if I can turn things around!


    I'm going to grind it out till I'm out of the woods then reassess the situation for the possibility of finding a new job. I'm currently employed as a FTE.
  • Azt7Azt7 ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    DZA_ wrote: »
    @Azt7 - From what I've heard, LoB based deliveries pretty much the focal point around here and there has been a lot of projects that got burned because of this. I believe you can't really escape it when you work in corporate. I agree too that they can't let this project get cancelled, there is too much at stake on how much it can save the enterprise. It's a matter of trying to meet the timelines as much as possible, not delay it, and save face where possible unfortunately.


    Entertaining my initial thought of leaving the company was this:
    - The overall team was pretty solid, fun and close (This is genuine among my coworkers/peers), I haven't experienced someone backstabbing me per se but wouldn't be surprised if I got back stabbed.
    - The work culture is laid back for corporate among the different Canadian companies out there
    - The company has a defined benefits plan vs defined contribution. This is a rarity among Canadian companies,
    - The commute is pretty good, its about an hour door-to-door with minimal effort, little bit of walking and riding the train.

    my hard work and persistence is being noticed by higher management based on the recent issues we were having, which is a good thing. I totally agree with you about turning the project around but hopefully I don't burn out in the process. There may be a very good bonus payout by the end of the year if I can turn things around.

    In that case, you are pretty good then. You are definitely right by saying that you can't avoid LOB based deliveries in corporate.

    I'm fortunate enough to have climbed the ranks and to have a good relationship with the delivery team. So they let me know what the deal is and then I tell the sales team to only present specific options to customers.

    Sales / MSP environment are the only area where I find the IT team can somewhat influence what is being offered if you have a good enough relationship with LOB.
    Certifications : ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect, CCSK, TOGAF
    Studying for :   ISO 27032 Lead Cybersecurity Manager - 08/20
    2021 :  CRISC
    2022 : CGEIT / C-CISO
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